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Local news outlets are featuring the recovery efforts of Crawford County Airport (KRSV) in Robinson, Illinois, after an EF-3 tornado “completely destroyed” the facility a little over a year ago. Parts of airplanes and airport materials were found as far away as across the state line in Indiana. Airport officials credit community efforts for much of the rebuild effort. Remarkably, the airport is expected to be able to host an airshow in September, an annual event that has been postponed in recent years by the Covid pandemic, and most recently by the tornado, which struck on March 31, 2023.

With its 5,108-foot Runway 09/27 and 3,398-foot Runway 17/35, RSV is home to 16 based aircraft (14 single-engine; two twins). Just under half of its operations (49%) are “local” with 43% transient and 7% air taxi ops. Airport manager Howard Hunt said, “This is our livelihood. And we’ve been doing it for a long time.” He added that there was very little to recover from the rubble after the storm – including a few small tools.

Hunt credits “several hundred people” for the ongoing rebuild, including the local mayor. “Mike Shimer, came out with his mowers and helped mow until we got our tractors and mowers replaced; because they were, like everything was, just gone.”

Hunt added he hopes that, as reconstruction is completed, the local flight school will soon be back to where it was before the devastation. He is also looking forward to the September airshow, and returning to a sense of “normalcy.”

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